by Irvin Muchnick
As noted earlier today, the office of Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin was unhelpful about the employment history of Detective Gerald Procanyn. See “Controversial Jimmy Snuka Murder Case Detective Is One of Several Musical Chairs and Revolving Door Figures in Lehigh County Criminal Justice,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=10359.
Why Martin’s office wouldn’t answer a simple question with a simple answer, I don’t know — just as we don’t know why Procanyn lied to me in 1992 about key aspects of the original and aborted murder investigation of “Superfly” Snuka in 1983. We only know that Martin spokesperson Debbie Garlicki did decline to find and disclose the date of Procanyn’s start of employment for the county. And we only know that Procanyn did choose to spew blatant untruths during my reporting trip to Allentown 23 years ago for the Village Voice.
The human resources officer for Lehigh County, M. Judith Johnston, now tells Concussion Inc. that Procanyn joined the D.A.’s office on April 28, 2003. Johnston could not say when he left the Whitehall force. Concussion Inc. is placing a separate information request with Whitehall.
It is hard to know if there is any connection, but Procanyn appears to have made the switch from the township to the county literally on the eve of the murder trial of James P. Moore Jr. for the strangulation death of Lisa Bendekovits — a cold case that would rival the Snuka-Nancy Argentino case for length between commission of the crime and its prosecution. (The Moore trial started the first week of May 2003.) Procanyn was part of the prosecution team that got James P. Moore Sr. to testify against his son. In return, the senior Moore was allowed to plead down to a charge of conspiracy to commit third-degree murder.
In 2005, Debbie Garlicki, an Allentown Morning Call reporter, wrote a series of articles about the long road to justice and closure for Tammy Bendekovits, the daughter of the Moores’ murder victim.
In 2008, Garlicki became executive aide to District Attorney Martin, whose tenure in office had begun in 1998.